Friday, June 21, 2013

I've hit single digits and people won't let me forget it.

Dear (insert your name here.  This is to you!  =)),

I've hit single digits and people won't let me forget it.  Goodness
me...  It doesn't feel like I'm about to leave.  I'll just be
transferred, right?  I'll go on to Viana or Lubango or Huambo, of
course.  Maybe I'll be training?  But no.  Not for me.  I'll be
"leaving on a jet plane."  And the worst part is that I don't know
when I'll be back again.

But, oh well!  It doesn't matter.  I've served.  I had my allotted
time and I tried my best with it.  I suppose that wishing for more
time is to be a tad ungrateful.  I've had a few deep realizations this
past week and I want to share them with you all.  Send them out to
other missionaries who have more time than I do--they just so happen
to be some of the greatest lessons I've learned about missionary work
on my mission.

Had I been more skilled earlier on my mission, I would have done more,
been more effective, and helped more people.  This is not to excuse
any lack of work or ability on my part, but to say that I would that I
had gained more skills earlier.  I believe that the quicker we become
skilled workers in any work or task the better we'll do.  So,
missionaries, take advantage of your training!  Learn every aspect of
the work.  Do the hardest things.  Don't let your trainer do them for

Had I learned to trust more in the Lord than in myself from the
get-go, I'd have had less headaches on my mission and in my life.  I'm
still trying to master this one.  I suppose we all are.  Regardless of
our struggles with it, I know that when we give ourselves to Him, we
become more truly who we are.  Does that make sense?  I hope so.

Love your companion and seek to serve him/her.  No one is as perfect
as we might wish them to be.  Magnify the good, forget the bad, grow
with them, and help them to be the best person they can be.  This
would have changed the first 6 months of my mission and maybe helped a
few people going through some hard times.  Seek to love.  Never have a
reason to dislike.

As I move into my last week, I'm striving to help the people that
we've prepared for the 29th.  All 6 of them are looking promising!  If
all goes well in Cassequel we'll have 9 baptisms in our branch alone.

I love you all and I may or may not be crazy excited to see you guys
in just a couple of weeks.  Keep on praying for me.  I'm trying to
keep up the best work I've ever done.

Stay the course,

Elder Eckman

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